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Accounting News Roundup: Ta-Ta to Twinkies?; SEC’s Flood of Whistleblowers; Fair Value: Pension Edition | 11.16.12

Ex-Needham CFO Arrested in Theft From Firm [WSJ]
As chief financial officer at Needham & Co., Glen W. Albanese worked on the brokerage firm's charitable efforts after Hurricane Katrina and its scholarship fund for children of victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Now, federal authorities have accused him of directing money to a different cause: himself. U.S. prosecutors in New Jersey accused Mr. Albanese in a criminal complaint Thursday of colluding with vendors to overbill Needham by $1 million, using the money for landscaping at his home, a designer dog known as a Labradoodle and tickets to Disney World and Six Flags theme parks. A separate civil action filed by a Wall Street self-regulatory group accused Mr. Albanese of having Needham improperly pay for his tickets to the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

Banker Math Meets the Justice Department’s Cooks [Bloomberg]
It took two days for the enforcement numbers from the FBI's Distressed Homeowner Initiative to debunked.

Hot tips: SEC fields 3,000 whistleblower complaints in 12 months [JofA]
“In just its first year, the whistleblower program already has proven to be a valuable tool in helping us ferret out financial fraud,” SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro said in a news release. “When insiders provide us with high-quality road maps of fraudulent wrongdoing, it reduces the length of time we spend investigating and saves the agency substantial resources.” 

Twinkies maker Hostess plans to go out of business [Reuters]
Hostess Brands Inc, the bankrupt maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, said it had sought court permission to go out of business after failing to get wage and benefit cuts from thousands of its striking bakery workers. Hostess said a national strike by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union that began last week had crippled its ability to produce and deliver products at several facilities. The liquidation of the company will mean that most of its 18,500 employees will lose their jobs, Hostess said on Friday.

Atheists sue IRS for failure to monitor church politicking [WaPo]

The lawsuit claims that as many as 1,500 pastors engaged in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” on Sunday, Oct. 7, when pastors endorsed one or more candidates, which is a violation of IRS rules for non-profit organizations. IRS rules state that organizations classified as 501 (c) (3) non-profits — a tax-exempt status most churches and other religious institutions claim — cannot participate or intervene in “any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any political candidate.” Though the regulation has been in place since 1954, a federal court ruled in 2009 that the IRS no longer had the appropriate staff to investigate places of worship after a reorganization changed who in the agency had the authority to launch investigations.
Move to Fair-Value Pension Accounting Gathers Steam [CFOJ]
Levin: Payroll tax extension could depend on Dec. jobs report [The Hill]

Democrats and Republicans appeared to be on the same page that the payroll tax holiday should expire earlier this year. Ways and Means Committee ranking member Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) told reporters that Democrats could push for an extension in the fiscal cliff talks. “I think that will be affected by the report, the first Friday of next month,” he said. 
Understanding President Obama’s Revenue Targets [TaxVox]
$1 trillion. $1.6 trillion. What's the difference? … Oh, right. $600 billion

Man Injects Penis With Olive Oil, Gets Penis Cancer [HP]
A man was admitted to a Bangkok hospital after an unlicensed olive oil injection meant to enlarge his penis caused an infection so horrible his testicles swelled to the size of the medium size fruit, the Bangkok Post reports. Six months ago, the 50 -year-old man, who is unnamed in reports, reportedly suffered a cut to his penis, but he refused to go the doctor until it became infected. When he finally went to the hospital, doctors discovered the man had cancer that required his penis to be amputated, the Post reported.


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